Disney Plus is live today in Australia; what’s on?
After launching in North America a week ago, Australians and Kiwis are able to join in on the Disney Plus goodness. Disney Plus is Disney’s own streaming platform and brings together all of Disney’s properties. This includes Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, National Geographic and of course Disney itself. It also includes Fox properties like The Simpsons. Hooray!
With the launch of Disney Plus in Australia, all Disney shows and movies have been removed from Stan. If you want to watch Disney now, you’ll need to do it on Disney Plus.
Like Netflix, Stan and Amazon Prime, Disney Plus can be purchased month-to-month, however, it also offers a yearly membership option. Costing $8.99 AUD per month or $89.99 AUD a year, Disney Plus is great value.
But what’s on Disney Plus in Australia and is it worth having?
Disney Plus Australia
The absolute best reason to purchase Disney Plus in Australia is for The Mandalorian. Set five years after the events of Return of the Jedi, The Mandalorian follows the titular character as he takes on a bounty in the Outer Rim.
Not everything is as it seems, of course, and The Mandalorian finds himself caught up in something much, much larger than himself.
Starring Pablo Pascal as The Mandalorian and featuring Nick Nolte, Werner Herzog and Carl Weathers, The Mandalorian is written and produced by Jon Favreau.
This is Star Wars as a real, proper spaghetti western and it’s decidedly the best new Star Wars property in years. Clearly inspired by Clint Eastwood’s Man with no Name, the cinematography, action and soundtrack are incredible.
If you’ve been wanting something gritty from Star Wars, without any silliness and without Jedi and Sith, this is the show you’ve been looking for.
Noelle is the Disney version of those terrible, but watchable B-Grade Christmas movies Netflix pumps out every year. The difference being, Noelle stars Anna Kendrick, Bill Hader and Shirley MacLaine.
Kendrick and Hader star as Noelle and Nick Kringle, children of Santa and Mrs Kringle. After Santa’s death, it falls to Nick to take up the mantle. However, he’s not sure that he wants the job and runs away. In order to save Christmas, Noelle has to track him down and bring him home.
It’s hokey, it’s silly and it’s overly sugary but Noelle is a lot of fun. It’s much better than most of the Christmas output from Netflix and the talent helps elevate it beyond what it should be.
Forky was Toy Story 4’s breakout character. Honing in on the Millennial feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, Forky’s catchcry of “I’m trash” spoke to a huge number of 20/30 somethings.
However, Forky asks a Question isn’t targeting that audience. Instead, these are short, 7-minute episodes, in which Forky asks the big questions. What is love? What is time? And more.
These short episodes are fun and silly and definitely aimed at the toddler market. The same kids who love Bluey and Peppa Pig will love Forky asks a Question.
And, Tony Hale is brilliant as Forky.
SparkShorts is a collection of Pixar shorts that is exclusive to Disney Plus. These shorts are used to “discover new storytellers and explore new storytelling techniques from across the studio.”
There are four SparkShorts available on Disney Plus today; Purl, Smash and Grab, Kitbull and Float. These are like Pixar shorts you’d see before a feature film, but they’re different in that they explore new themes, new characters and new ways to tell stories.
Young children will love them thanks to the gorgeous animation and grown-up kids will love them because they’re brilliant.
The live-action remake of Lady and the Tramp is similar to The Lion King, except that the characters still retain some cartoonish animation. While The Lion King was incredibly visually impressive, it lost something by being so photorealistic. Lady and the Tramp walks a fine line but pulls back on the realism just enough to make the characters still feel like cartoons.
It remains fairly faithful to the original and certainly brings back a lot of memories. It’s also a great way to share this story with your children in a new way.
Starring Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux, Lady and the Tramp is another win for the live-action remakes and a great addition to Disney Plus. It also goes to show that Disney Plus is a viable platform to release new content.
Before Disney Plus launched, it was unclear if The Simpsons would be available on it in Australia. The good news is that it is. There are 29 seasons of The Simpsons available to stream, though they are stretched into widescreen.
Disney has acknowledged the issue and said;
“We presented The Simpsons” in 16:9 aspect ratio at launch in order to guarantee visual quality and consistency across all 30 seasons. Over time, Disney+ will roll out new features and additional viewing options. As part of this, in early 2020, Disney+ will make the first 19 seasons (and some episodes from Season 20) of The Simpsons available in their original 4:3 aspect ratio, giving subscribers a choice of how they prefer to view the popular series.”
Hooray for The Simpsons.
Ultra HD and HDR
At launch, there is some UHD and HDR content available on Disney Plus including lots of Disney live-action and animated films and most Marvel movies. However, best of all, all Star Wars films including the original, prequel and sequel trilogies (except Rise of Skywalker) and Rogue One and Solo are available in UHD and HDR.
The latter films aren’t surprising, but seeing the original trilogy in UHD and HDR is something else. If you’re a fan, you’re going to be in heaven.
Disney Plus is now available in Australia and New Zealand and has more than 7,500 episodes of TV and 500 movies available for streaming.
It costs $8.99 AUD per month or $89.99 AUD per year.
Disney provided some content to view ahead of launch.